So today was one of those days where it seemed like we might have skipped right over spring and into summer. It got up to 80 degrees this afternoon, and it was an extremely pleasant 70 degrees when I visited Silver Sands State Park this morning. Quite a change from the 40-degree temperatures I encountered at this park last week!
There were tons of creatures out and about today, and I even got to see a few cool animals at unusually close range, mostly because these creatures felt safe in their brushy hiding places next to the path. I got some good practice with my camera's manual focus this morning!
A group of Wild Turkeys picked through the brush next to the beach, apparently confident that none of the people walking by just yards away would try to chase and/or eat them:
In another part of the park, two White-tailed Deer were also extremely close to the path, but on the other side of a fence that must have made them feel safe from passing people. One deer was lying down in the shade (looking very comfortable), and the other deer was grazing -- both looked up at me, but didn't seem particularly concerned:
A few feet away from the deer, another creature bounded into view, and then froze when it saw me. This Eastern Cottontail Rabbit looks like it's in the process of making a nest -- look at all that dried grass it's carrying!
Yay, I love getting to see wild rabbits! My own pet bunnies have given me a whole new appreciation for these funny little creatures in recent years. This one didn't seem to want any snuggles, so I moved on and left it (her?) to resume the nest-building project.
If you're a predator, you don't need to stay under cover so much, and I saw a few of these larger creatures on the hunt this morning as well. It's always cool to see herons and egrets stalking prey, and this Great Egret made a striking sight with its statue-still pose:
And I saw an Osprey (or possibly more than one) several times this morning, often with a fish in tow. One pass low along the shoreline put this awesome bird on a course directly toward me (I can't get over the huge reach of those wings!)...
...And then right over my head:
Wow, what a creature! And what a day!
This very eventful walk will have to be my last in Connecticut for a little while, because tomorrow I'm leaving for a grand adventure across the ocean! I'll be back in a week or so, most likely with stories and pictures of strange and exotic (for me) creatures in tow. Until then, enjoy the increasingly-emerging spring!